We’ve been doing Winter in Wausau since 1949. So yes, we’re experts. If you need help with the ins and outs of negotiating slippery sidewalks, the fine art of dressing in layers, a recommendation for where to go snowshoeing, fat-tire bike riding, or simply where to find the the best cozy fire in town or the tastiest warm drink. Don’t hesitate to ask!
Have you decided to step it up a notch and learn to love the snow and cold? Then Shep’s is the place for advice, clothes and gear. Check out some of our recommendations below, and visit us at 324 Scott Street, across from the 400 Block in Downtown Wausau, for personalized service and great winter gear. We love winter and we know you can too!
Dressing in Winter 101
You know that chill you get, the one that hangs on even when you’ve gone inside? We know why that happens and how to fix it! Let’s talk about the differences various fabrics make, and how to make them work together to keep you cozy, warm and dry.
Step 1: Wet is not warm. So the key in winter weather is to stay dry. NO COTTON! That means no denim. Leave those great jeans in the closet when you venture outside. Cotton holds moisture, liquid and vapor. Have you ever rolled a sock off your foot, ending up with a damp, icky sock donut? You don’t want that in winter. Repeat: No Cotton.
Step 2: Base Layer. Also known as long underwear. It needs to wick moisture and provide insulation, appropriate to your activity. For example, if you’re cross country skiing you can expect to sweat (there’s that moisture problem again!) A light-weight, stretch polyester or bamboo fabric that moves moisture quickly is a great way to go. Ice fishing? That requires a highly insulating fiber of course. Merino wool is our favorite because it insulates while it’s moving moisture. In fact, it’s a miracle fiber in our opinion. Read more from the experts at Smartwool here.
Step 3: Mid Layer. Wicking and insulation continue in the mid layer. Ideally, the fabric you choose here will work with your base layer. Wool, polyester fleece, natural down are all great choices for different reasons. You can look in your closet for a puffy down jacket, a fleece hoody or something in between. They are all mid-layers if they are not built to keep out wind and water. This is where our great brands have come up with some awesome advancements in recent years. We can show you when you visit us!
Step 4: Outer Layer. Your winter jacket. We finally got to it! Here you have a multitude of choices, obviously. A winter jacket is the garment that must help you withstand the cold, wind, and snow or rain. Most contain heat-trapping insulation so your body stays warm even when not in motion. It must also have a waterproof/ breathable membrane to really protect you.
It could be a “Hard Shell” jacket, which is not insulated at all. Think rain jacket. Most of us in Wisconsin use these in mild temperatures – 30s-50s. Our staff prefers an insulated jacket, even when we are employing the layering philosophy described here, when it’s below freezing.
So come see us. Let’s talk about winter dressing, and all the great places to enjoy the outdoors in Central Wisconsin.